Ever looked at a fellow marketing or media business and wondered ‘who did they get to design that’?

Most marketing, media, comms and tech businesses don’t have an internal creative team. And why would they? There’s no point having a full-time designer in-house when ‘design’ isn’t your primary service offering.

However, when a creative project comes along (and they often do), you need to be able to call on the right designer for the job.

So, how do you find that ‘Go-to’ Designer? Here are some of the qualities that some of the best designers in the industry will have in common.

/01 They will require a brief

Even if your initial brief is vague or a little flaky, an experienced designer will ask you the right questions before getting started. They will help you nut out the brief so that everyone is working towards the same goal.

/02 They will provide a detailed scope of work and a quote 

Expect a detailed quote outlining the project deliverables, rounds of amends included, payment terms and all associated costs in writing. They will expect your approval and in most cases a deposit to confirm project commencement.

/03 They will communicate regularly

Your designer will be happy to share any work-in-progress and jump on a call to discuss project development. Expect check-ins and updates along the way. If something changes in the brief, they will want to know about it ASAP so they can adapt their approach to the brief and/or flag any adjustments that might be required in the agreed project scope.

/04 They will be strategic, and ideas driven

A professional designer is driven by ideas and finding the best possible solution for the brief. You shouldn’t need to direct the creative outcome – rather trust your designer to lead the creative process, think strategically, develop concepts, and present the best designs to you for review.

/05 They will be open to constructive and collated feedback

Like water off a duck’s back, professional designers won’t be offended by your feedback. Obviously, don’t be rude or disrespectful but honesty is always the best policy. If the design isn’t working, please explain why, so your designer can adjust their approach and deliver an outcome that nails the brief.

HOT TIP! Your designer will be most efficient if you provide collated and considered feedback. This avoids mistakes, unnecessary rounds of amends and budget blowouts.

/06 They will meet your deadline

A professional designer delivers on time. They will not message you on the due date to say ‘sorry, it’s not ready’. If you stick to the agreed schedule, they will too.

/07 The right aesthetic

Most professional designers can adapt their style to meet a required aesthetic. However, it’s worth making sure they can confidently deliver what you need. e.g. A designer that specialises in lifestyle brands might not be suitable for a heavy industry manufacturing brand. So, check their folio and ask to see some similar examples before handing them the job.

Finally, having a few ‘Go-to’ designers in your little black book is highly recommended. Every brief is different and you’ll want to match the brief to the right designer. Budget, design aesthetic, creative deliverables, and availability will certainly dictate who is right for the project. So, share the love and build up your network with a range of creative designers that you can call on. Your business, clients and folio of work will be better for it.

As Chief Idea’s Girl at KO Studio, I’m committed to helping brands (and the people behind them) evolve, connect and shine on every level!

So, if you’re looking to add another ‘Go-to’ designer to your little black book, we’d love to hear from you!

Miss KO x

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